Last year ABP Group launched Bengali tabloid Ebela. It also entered Punjab with its Punjabi news channel. In the current year, the Group plans to expand its reach and presence in more and more regional markets.
The Group believes that marketers are seriously looking at regional markets. Talking about the key focus areas of ABP for 2013, DD Purkayastha, MD and CEO, ABP Group said, “We will be looking at entering more and more regional markets. Television will be pan India through regional channels and we will go local and deeper into our heartland via print.”
According to him, the Bengal market is growing well and there is much to offer in the coming years. The market is not only beneficial for the local language players but also offerings to youth will be fruitful in term of revenue.
He said, “We launched Ebela six months ago and now we have a circulation of around 3,25,000 copies. It’s a myth that youth doesn’t read papers.”
The last IRS results put a declining picture of regional dailies, as seven of the top ten regional dailies lost leadership while only three registered growth.
Purkayastha has a different opinion; he felt it’s a temporarily phenomenon, a flat period but regional will grow. He said, “I think English dailies are falling faster rather.”
He highlighted there should be some change in the way regional performs; it should not be very city-centric. Regional dailies need to enter into remote areas to perform well.
On asking if digital is eating the pie of print, he replied, “No, not yet. Digital will take some more time but it will do so.
Purkayastha shared his take on the new IRS methodology. “I think they are making some changes and the questions are much more focussed. But I don’t think this change will make a radical difference.”